Sale-leaseback plan approved to boost Electric Works

(Courtesy image)

The Electric Works received a boost from not one but two city boards Tuesday, both of which approved a complex sale-leaseback plan designed to secure $62 million in public funds for the project.

Under the plan, approved first by the Redevelopment Authority then the Board of Works, streets and other publicly owned infrastructure in the area surrounding the former General Electric campus will be conveyed to the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, which would then sell the assets to the Redevelopment Authority. The commission would then essentially buy back the assets with a proposal that the bond be repaid through about $7 million in city and county economic development income taxes, $10 million in city Legacy funds requiring City Council approval and $45 million in food and beverage taxes approved by the Capital Improvement Board. The city would continue to maintain the assets included in the deal.

The program would be governed by a development agreement the Redevelopment Commission approved last week with the developers of the $250 million mixed-use project, RTM Ventures. That vote committed no money to Electric Works but with Tuesday’s action does clear the way for developer RTM Ventures to seek funds from other government bodies.

None of the public money will be committed to the project until all private sources are also in place.

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